Promising Hepatitis C Treatment

Last year, I wrote about a recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that all baby boomers born between 1945 and 1965 get a one-time blood test for Hepatitis C. The reason for its recommendation was that baby boomers are five times more likely to be infected than other adults and account for more than three-quarters of all cases of the infection in this country.

HCV-TestingGraphic_75-percent-are-baby-boomers

The CDC estimated that if baby boomers would get the one-time blood test, more than 800,000 news cases could be identified and appropriately treated. Currently, many patients with chronic hepatitis C are treated with a combination of medications to remove the virus from the blood and reduce the risks associated with long-term infection.

Hepatitis C virus seen through electron microscope. James Cavallini/Science Source

Hepatitis C virus seen through electron microscope.
James Cavallini/Science Source

About 70 percent of cases are cured, but patients can suffer severe side effects from some of the drugs. The NPR blog “Shots” just published a story about a promising new drug that doesn’t appear to have the usual side effects. You can read the blog post here: ‘Sponge’ Drug Shows Promise for Treating Hepatitis C.

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Diane Atwood

About Diane Atwood

For more than 20 years, I was the health reporter on WCSH 6. Before that, a radiation therapist at Maine Medical Center and after, Manager of Marketing/PR at Mercy Hospital. Now, I'm a baby boomer not interested in retiring. I write the Catching Health blog and am back on TV as a regular guest on the Morning Report. I'm also a college art student at USM. You can read about that adventure on my other blog mylatestart.bangordailynews.com. It's good (and healthy) to be busy!